(Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
Ballet Exercises - Quad Muscles
For two years i took a ballet class for one day a week. And my teacher told me i had extreme potential to be a professional ballet dancer. so she told me to sign up for the alabama ballet school which i did. In january she let me en pointe but the pointe classes weren't that good so i had to practice and learn by myself at home. everything went well except for developpes and grand battements. I used my quads instead of my inner thigh muscles. now im trying to figure out how do i not use my quads and just my inner thigh muscles for the developpes. I'm trying to fix this problem before my placement class with the ballet school in late august. Can you help me with that and how to get your leg alot higher in developpes. Thanks in advance!(:
btw i just turned twelve
Ballet Exercises - Quad Muscles
Reply by Odette
Thank you for contacting me, it is a pleasure to hear from you.
Always remember, your developpes and grand battements both initiate from the backs on the legs (glutes). So during all your ballet classes, try to feel each movement initiating from the glutes as this will help to stop using your quads.
Also, try to think about length throughout your whole leg in every developpe and grand battement. In a developpe, imagine your leg is reaching on forever and ever - it is long, lengthened and light. With just this imagery in your head, it can help you start to use the right muscles and prevent using your quads. Make sure your muscles are fully stretch and as long as you can make them.
There are some great exercises in pilates that target the leg muscles and inside thighs, so have a look at some books or dvds on pilates. Pilates or yoga are very popular exercises for dancers to do aside of their ballet classes. Pilates is great for core strengthening and toning the muscles. Many dancers like to have a pilates session before ballet class because it engages your core stability.
My first tip to getting a higher developpe is make sure during all your ballet classes you really push your legs higher than usually would in all the exercises. A teacher once told me, "You will never get your legs higher if you're always comfortable with the height they are at. You have to push past your comfort zone in order to get higher legs."
Secondly, make sure you stretch during or after class to increase flexibility. Take advantage of when your body is warm to do deeper stretches such as, holding your leg up high to the side with your hand and keeping it there continually increasing the height.
The secret to success is mental discipline as well as physical ability. I can give you the information that you need to progress to the next level. Along with the three physical secrets, the Seven Secrets, on the 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page, will give you the key answers of how to thrive in the ballet world.
ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page
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